My name is Adria Nassim. I was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder in my mid-teens as well as cerebral palsy and a learning disability at birth and in early childhood. I live in Bloomington, Indiana but am originally from Floyd County. After completing 3.5 years at a private independent living, social skills, and vocational development program for young adults with college-bound autism here in Bloomington, I graduated in 2013 and now work part-time with the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community on the Indiana University - Bloomington campus. I write a blog, “Adria’s Notebook,” which focuses on my personal experience with disability as well as helping teens and young adults with developmental disabilities become more independent and involved in their communities. I also give presentations to college students about my experience with autism and learning disability and discuss the diagnoses clinically as well. Until recently, for the past five years, I wrote a bi-weekly column in Bloomington’s newspaper devoted to autism and developmental disability. While I loved my experience at the paper, it was time to make some changes.
I am very excited to be joining the ranks at the Indiana Resource Center for Autism. You will get to know me as I share articles in the IRCA newsletter, and I may occasionally assist with trainings. Autism is a different experience for every individual and every family on this journey. I hope to share a bit of my journey with all of you and maybe provide a little light for the road ahead along the way.
In the community, I serve on the board for the Monroe County Autism Foundation, an organization which aims to fund autism related services and supports to children and adults with the diagnosis living in Monroe County, Indiana who could not otherwise access or afford them. I have also done advocacy work at the state level for children and adults with developmental disabilities.
If you see me around, I am often followed by a four-legged friend. His name is Thomas. He is a 3-year-old yellow Lab trained as a service dog through the Indiana Canine Assistant Network (ICAN) based in Zionsville, Indiana. He helps with safely crossing streets, providing balance support on stairs and when walking, picking up and retrieving objects, and facilitating social interaction with peers. We were matched last fall and he is very much enjoying his role as an IU employee and looks forward to coming on board at IRCA as well.
When I am not working, I am often found swimming, training or playing with Thomas, meandering through bookstores, or hanging out with friends. I look forward to getting to know all of you and being a resource in whatever way I can to families across Indiana with younger children on the autism spectrum.
Nassim, A. (2022). Introducing Adria - September 2022. Retrieved from https://www.iidc.indiana.edu/irca/articles/adria-introduction-september-2022.html